When it comes to our overall well-being, taking care of our emotional and mental health is as important as taking care of our physical health. After all, when we aren’t healthy emotionally, our bodies react by raising our blood pressure, creating ulcers, breaking out in skin rashes, and impeding our immune system from doing its job, among many other ailments.
Here are 5 ways you can improve your emotional health starting today:
Get Your Body Moving
Any form of exercise can have a significant and positive impact on your mood. Not only does exercise help your body burn through stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, it also releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins which help fight pain and make you feel happy. On top of this, you simply have a better sense of self-esteem and self-confidence when you commit to exercising regularly. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to work yourself into a major sweat either. A simple brisk walk outside can do wonders for the heart, body, and soul.
Build a Support Network
It’s important to have a group of family and friends that you can share your problems and life with. We all need someone to lean on every once in a while, who will listen and make us feel important, heard, and understood.
Especially right now. Connecting with others right now in a meaningful way is challenging for most of us. I personally prefer face-to-face above all else. But for most of us, this isn’t realistic. A quick phone call can do wonders for our sense of connectedness. Checking in with a text message or email is also helpful.
Have More Sex
Physical intimacy within a committed relationship leads to numerous emotional and health benefits. You feel loved and secure because of a deep connection. You also feel good about yourself, and a healthy self-esteem is important to our overall well-being.
If you find you and your partner simply don’t have the time, make the time. Create a schedule and stick to it. It could be once a week, three times a week or even twice a month, whatever works. Don’t let yourself succumb to the belief that making a schedule takes the romance out of things. With the right attitude and some creativity, this simply isn’t the case. Those who do, are simply missing out.
Eat a Healthy Diet
During stressful times, many of us make unhealthy food choices. After all, comfort foods, which are often loaded with fat and processed carbohydrates, are supposed to make us feel better, right? Wrong.
Eating food high in sugars are drinking alcohol can negatively affect your emotional health. After all, alcohol is a depressant. Sugar and other chemicals found in the foods we eat and beverages we drink alter our brain chemistry, often leading to feelings of anger, sadness, and even hopelessness.
It’s important to eat a healthy diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, lean cuts of meat, healthy fats, and whole grains. Restrict your consumption of processed foods. Increase your water intake – especially in the morning.
Work with a Therapist Or Coach
Sometimes, whatever is affecting your emotions may feel too big for you to handle alone. It may be worth considering seeking guidance from a therapist or an objective third-party who can help you understand your behaviors and reactions to events, as well as offer tools and support to help you cope and manage.
If you’re unsure whether you’re dealing with a temporary emotional slump, or full-blown depression, contact us today for a free consultation.
James Killian, LPC is the Principal Therapist & Owner of Arcadian Counseling in New Haven, CT where they specialize in helping over-thinkers, high achievers, and perfectionists take control and move From Surviving to Thriving.